Blood Lives Here – Episode 11
© Brian Ngoma
Ludo’s phone rang.
She looked at it and looked at Hunter.
“Cut the call!” He ordered her.
“It’s my mother!” Ludo yelled.
Hunter’s forehead formed furrows.
“What do you want with me?” Ludo reached for the door handle.
“Just sit. Will you?”
Ludo stopped fidgeting and sunk in the seat.
“How do you know the Hamuumbu’s?”
“Are you the eldest son?” Ludo asked.
“Don’t ask me questions, answer me.”
“I don’t really know them I just met them a few days ago. Did they send you? Tell Elise that I’m taking the soft copy.”
Hunter looked at Ludo irritated.
“Wait…. You just killed Mr. Jabulani. That means she didn’t send you.
“At least you can think,” Hunter said.
Who are you? What do you want with me?” Ludo inquired.
Hunter face palmed.
“Young girl, will you shut up?”
Ludo went quiet.
“Who are you?” Ludo asked again.
Hunter stared at her through the rear view mirror.
“I’m sorry,” She pinched the bridge of her nose.
There was silence. Hunter was wondering if he had the right girl despite following the physical address given to him by Mr. Visashi. The girl in his backseat was nothing he expected. He remembered how swift and easy it was working with Hilary. She was intelligent, brave and courageous. He didn’t have to say anything, just by looking at him she read his mind. It was unfortunate she met her fate that way.
“Did you write that book?” Hunter asked after much thought.
“Which book?” Ludo asked back.
“About the Hamuumbu’s?”
“It’s not with me, it’s with Elise.”
“You have the soft copy.”
“Is that a question?”
“I’m telling you. I need a copy.”
“Didn’t you get it last night? You were in my room.”
“Would I be here if I got it?”
“How did you get in the house?”
Hunter scratched his beard.
Ludo was silenced.
“Let’s go and get it,” Hunter started the car.
“Why are you interested in it? Why is everyone interested in my book? It’s just Fiction i told them.”
Hunter didn’t answer her. He drove to her house and parked outside.
“You know what to do,” he said unlocking the backseat doors.
Ludo reached for the handle.
“You saw what happened to your friend. If you do anything stupid, your parents will pay for it.”
Ludo turned her head to face him. How can a man be so cruel and ruthless like this? She thought to herself.
As soon as she got out of the car, Melanie opened the gate from the inside.
“Ludo!” She shouted happily upon seeing Ludo.
Ludo was still standing by Hunters car.
Melanie ran to Ludo.
“Hey where have you been?” Melanie hugged Ludo. “That time you texted me I was on my way here. Who is in the car?” Melanie bowed her head to look at Hunter.
Hunter avoided her eyes and put the car in reverse. He drove out of the street leaving the two girls standing.
“Did I do something wrong?” Melanie asked.
“No, he was just leaving.” Ludo answered hoping she could never see him again. “What are you doing here? Its late,” Ludo checked her phone.
“I was waiting for you and now its late I don’t even know how I’ll go home,” Melanie frowned.
Ludo knew Melanie wanted to be told to spend the night at her house.
“You can sleep over,” Ludo said.
“Are you sure?” Melanie’s face brightened.
“Yes. Its late you can’t go home. Just call whoever it is you need to call at your place.”
The girls got into the house finding Ludo’s parents sited watching TV. Melanie had said goodbye to them and they were surprised to see her back in the house. Ludo asked her parents if Melanie could spend the night. Zamiwe was hesitant but Joe agreed right there. Ludo and Melanie went to the bedroom. Melanie had already eaten but Ludo said she was not hungry insisting Mrs. V spoiled her with food that day.
“So who is that bearded man?” Melanie asked Ludo laying on the bed.
“No one,” Ludo answered.
“Hmmmm, is he hubby?”
Ludo looked at Melanie surprised.
“You can talk to me you know,” Melanie said.
“No he’s not. He just drove me home.”
“We’ll hear,” Melanie clapped.
“I’m tired let’s sleep,” Ludo changed into her night dress.
She handed Melanie her spare pajamas.
“Evan is difficult Ludo,” Melanie said after Ludo switched off the lights.
Ludo said nothing. She was thinking about the bearded man and what he could do to her parents. She thought about Mr. Jabulani. Even though she didn’t know him that much, she knew he was a good man. He had warned her about the Hamuumbu’s and dying like that because of the people he worked for was cruel.
“Ludo are you asleep?” Melanie asked.
“I’m trying to sleep but with you talking I don’t think I can sleep,” Ludo answered irritated.
“I do everything for him. I try to please him in whichever way I can,” Melanie complained. “But immediately he’s done with me, he looks at me as if I’m trash.”
“I can’t. I’m falling for him.”
“I don’t know anything about that. Melanie let’s sleep. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight Ludo. Thanks for being my friend.”
“Whatever,” Ludo whispered.
“You are funny Bestie,” Melanie said pulling the beddings.
Hunter drove to the car Mr. Jabulani was driving. Apparently, no one had noticed that there was a dead man laying by the car. He parked his car just a few meters from Mr. Jabulani’s car and walked to it. He carried Mr. Jabulani’s corpse and put it in the backseat. He drove the car out of the neighborhood and left it miles away from Ludo’s place. He knew Ludo was already involved with the Hamuumbu’s and having Mr. Jabulani’s car found around her areas would implicate her and he was not done with her yet. He went back to his car.
From the time he had been back in the country, he had never gone to his house. He spent the few days in a lodge but his money was running out, he had no option but to go back to his place. The only worry he had was that his house was being watched especially after that time he talked to the strange voice on the phone. He decided to drive back to the house. He had exchanged his Chevrolet for a Volkswagen for fear of being found. He reached the area and surveyed it from a distance. It was as quiet as he had left it. There was total darkness. He could only see the light coming from the backyard where his carnage was. He got out of the car and ran to the fence. He climbed it and peeped to check if there was anyone. He jumped over and hurriedly but carefully found his way to the backyard. He paused to hear for any movements. Hunter had animal instincts, he could sense danger and identify certain smells as human. After careful observation, he concluded there was no one at the backyard. He opened the Carnage and turned off the light. He did the same in the house. He drove his car into the compound and parked it behind the main house. He got into the house and didn’t switch on the lights. Everything was as he had left them. He sat on his couch and sighed. On his left was a picture of a young girl smiling and waving. Hunter grabbed the photo and looked at it. He stroked his beard and slammed his hand on the table. His eyes become dark as night.
Erica stood in front of her mother’s office door in the house nervously. She had planned what to tell her the the past two nights but with her mother, she couldn’t be more prepared. Just by been at the door, she was sweating and shaking. Seeing Naveen two nights ago meant a lot of things for the Hamuumbu’s but she wasn’t worried about all that, she was only worried about what her mother would remember if she mentions the name Naveen to her.
“What are you doing there?” Evan said pushing her aside and entering. “You haven’t been home for two nights.”
Erica just stood there motionless.
“Why are you standing there like a robot Erica?” Elise asked.
Erica entered the office and grabbed a sit.
“I need reports,” Elise looked at the both of them.
“I met up with Mr. Jacksons from Bank of Zambia and I think the deal will go through,” Evan said smiling.”
“Don’t think you should be sure Evan,” Elise said annoyed. “I taught you better than that.”
“I’m sorry I’m sure.”
“What about you Erica?” She shifted her attention to Erica.
Erica lifted her head and looked at her mother.
“Talk, we don’t have all day.”
Erica couldn’t get words out of her mouth.
“She did nothing. She was probably banging that low life,” Evan said. “She just returned this morning.”
“Evan shut it!” Erica yelled.
“Let her talk. I can see she has something to tell me,” Elise said. “Talk to me Erica.”
“I met Naveen the other night.”
“What?” Elise asked.
“Naveen Patel?” Evan asked too.
“Yes,” Erica answered.
“Oh my God, I don’t like this,” Elise said.
Erica bowed her head.
“I thought he was out of the country,” Evan said thoughtful.
“Apparently, he seems to be back.”
Elise sunk in her chair.
“If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have been worried,” Elise looked at Erica.
“She messed up,” Evan said.
Erica didn’t say anything.
“You had to sleep with the enemy. I’m still not over that,” Elise said.
“I know mom,” Erica shifted uneasily in her chair. “I can fix it.”
“You are not fixing anything Erica,” Elise said.
“What do we with him?” Evan asked.
“Are you stupid?” Elise looked at Evan. “What do you mean what do we with him?”
Evan looked away.
“At the moment nothing. Let’s just wait for his move,” Elise said. “I can’t help it but wonder why Naveen is back at the same time this manuscript was discovered.”
“What are you thinking about?” Erica asked.
“I think Ludo is working with the Patel’s,” Elise answered.
“I doubt,” Evan said.
“There’s no place for doubts in our world Evan,” Erica said.
“I propose we start watching Ludo 24/7,” Elise said.
“Is that necessary?” Evan asked.
“What’s wrong with you?” Erica asked him.
“Nothing. I just don’t think she has anything to with this. I think she was used,” Evan responded. “I did a background check on her. She’s clean and she’s epileptic. Come on.”
“That makes her unusual suspect and unusual suspects are dangerous,” Elise said. “I already talked Mr. Jabulani. He will be following her each and every move.”
“Mr. Jabulani?” Erica asked.
“Of course. I just wonder where he is. He was supposed to report to me this morning,” Elise looked at her phone.
“He’s on his way. That one he’s a loyal puppet,” Evan said.
“He’s better than two of you combined,” Elise looked at Evan and Erica. “Now i want you Evan to close the deal with Mr. Jackson. Schedule a meeting with him as soon as possible. We cannot take our chances. With Naveen back in the country, we have to secure our deals. Go and work on it now,” she dismissed Evan.
Erica was still standing waiting for her assignment.
“I think that Jean of yours has weaken you,” Elise snorted.
“Don’t you dare talk back when I’m talking Erica.”
“Now i want you to meet with Mr. Mpundu of Mpundu Real Estates. We have to ensure he buys from us.”
“Do whatever is necessary and don’t disappoint me. Bring out Jezebel not this weak soul I’m seeing here.”
“You look worried. Is Naveens return affecting you?”
“No mom. No.”
“I hope so. Get out of here i need to work.”
O’Brien had not heard from his friend Kent for a while now since that time at the club. He had decided to visit him at his office. Kent’s secretary knew him well. As he passed her, she just smiled at him and nodded that he was in.
“You have been missing in action my man,” O’Brien said as he sat down.
“O’Brien my friend. Long time,” Kent smiled.
“You just bailed on me last time.”
“I know man. I’m sorry.”
“You had a horrific face on you. It was like you had saw the devil himself. Leaving me alone in the club.”
“I’m sure I was tired.”
“Are you sure?”
“Very sure my friend. What has brought you here?”
“Aren’t we drinking some?”
“It’s a Saturday.”
“All the better.”
“Kate will kill me.”
“Since when Kent? Kate is okay with you drinking as long as you go early home.”
“You know her well,” Kent laughed.
“There’s a rumor around the city that you people here have a book containing the secrets of the Hamuumbu’s.”
“The Hamuumbu’s?” Kent asked.
“Nalishuwa Hamuumbu. The man with stroke and all the controversy,” Obrien answered.
Kent’s face was numb.
“Don’t tell me you don’t know him,” Obrien said.
“I don’t know him.”
“Which part of Zambia do you live in?” Obrien asked jokingly. “And to think of it, you an editor. You should know about such things.”
“It must be another publishing company wanting to publish it then.”
“That’s what I heard.”
Kent felt his stomach move. He didn’t know how to tell Obrien that he knew about the book. He was scared he might also put him in danger.
“Anyway, finish up we leave. My wife also tells me to get home early these days.”
The two left Kent’s office. While outside, O’Brien told Kent he had forgotten something from Kent’s secretary and needed to go back.
“What did you leave?” Kent asked.
“Asked her to print something for me.”
“Hurry up,” Kent said while opening his car doors.
O’Brien rushed back in and found the secretary standing nervously and looking around.
“Did you get it?” O’Brien asked.
“Yes. This will put me in trouble sir,” Kent’s secretary answered.
“Not even a single soul will know about this don’t worry,” O’Brien said. “Now give me.”
The secretary knelt and got a copy of Ludo’s manuscript from her table and handed it over to O’Brien.
“What do you want with it?” The secretary asked.
“Someone is willing to pay a huge sum of money for it. Don’t worry I’ll square you too,” O’Brien put the manuscript in his bag and waved goodbye to the secretary.
To be continued